Violent teen stabbed two inmates
A violent teenage prisoner who stabbed two inmates in the head with sharpened toilet brushes inflicted some of the worst injuries a nurse had ever seen, a court was told.
Wilfred King, 19, admitted two counts of causing grievous bodily harm at Wetherby Young Offender Institution after launching the bloody assaults a month apart.
Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said that on May 22, 2019, there had been a mediation meeting between the first victim and another inmate, Nana Vandevelde, after a row over an alleged racist comment.
A prison officer said that both parties agreed at the meeting that the matter was “over and done with”.
But hours later, at around 5.15pm, King had been standing in the exercise yard of the young offenders institute with a group of fellow inmates.
Without warning, King ran from the top end of the courtyard, pulled an improvised weapon from his trouser belt and began stabbing at the victim, who was stood in the corner of the yard on his own.
It was later found to be a prison toilet brush that had been sharpened at one end, while a a piece of cloth had been attached at the other end as a makeshift handle.
The court heard that King stabbed him up to 10 times before others joined in kicking and punching the victim, including Nana Vandevelde, and two other inmates, Shawn Maina and Makiyah Gayle.
After guards were able to break the violence up, the victim needed treatment and was found to have multiple puncture wounds to his head, including above his eye and his cheek.
King refused to be interviewed about the incident.
On June 28, King attacked another inmate from whom he was banned from associating with because of animosity between the pair.
The victim on this occasion had been waiting at the health care room near to King’s cell.
When the officers came to collect dinner trays, the door was slightly ajar and King forced his way out.
He ran to the victim and launched a frenzied attack on him with another toilet brush with a sharpened piece of cutlery attached to the end.
The victim tried to fight back but King caused wounds to his head, shoulder and face with witnesses saying there was a huge amount of blood left at the scene.
A nurse who tended to the victim said they were some of the worst injuries she had ever seen.
King has multiple previous convictions, including for wounding, rape, assaults and drugs offences.
Mark Hemming, for King, said his client had come to live in the UK when he was four, travelling from Sierra Leone.
Medical reports showed that he suffered from a form of PTSD stemming from his childhood.
However, he said he is now making use of his time and is undergoing a university course in business studies.
In an unusual move, King, who was appearing via video link to HMP Doncaster, asked to address Judge Geoffrey Marson QC who allowed him to speak.
He said: “I had a lot of issues, I’m not excusing having a weapon, but it was the only way I felt safe.
“It was only going to lead to one outcome.
“I’ve not been in any incidents in almost a year, I have got to change my life. I can’t just waste it away. I’m getting my head down in my books.”
Judge Marson QC said in response: “You have a terrible record for one so young. I have taken into account the problems arising from your childhood.
“In my judgement, looking at your previous convictions, it’s clear to me that you are a dangerous offender.
“I’m just persuaded not to impose a life sentence, which I have the powers to do.”
King was given a seven-year sentence, which is not to begin until his current sentence is complete. He is not eligible for parole for his current sentence until 2023.
Meanwhile, Shawn Maina, who is 18, who also appeared over a video link from HMP Doncaster, admitted a charge of actual bodily harm after he admitted kicking the first victim during the courtyard assault.
Kara Frith, mitigating for Maina, said he accepted responsibility for actions, had not been in trouble in prison in a year and was working with groups on his aggression and was showing some “positive signs”.
He was jailed for 14 months.
Nana Vandevelde and Makiyah Gayle are to be sentenced for their part at a later date.
After the case, Acting Detective Sergeant Ailis Coates, of Leeds District Prison Crime Team, said: “Incidents of violence in the prison system present real risks to inmates and to staff, and these offences will be treated just as seriously as those committed on the outside.
“We work closely with prison staff to ensure that incidents are fully investigated and, where necessary, victimless prosecutions are brought to ensure those responsible receive additional penalties on top of the sentences they are already serving.
“We hope the significant sentence this offender has received for these violent attacks will help remind others that there are consequences if they commit further offences in prison.”